Our dog Zuzu seemed depressed when we returned home to New York City from a weekend vacation at Glen Highland Farms (217 Pegg Rd, Morris, NY). Why would we live in an apartment in the city when a place like that existed, she seemed to ask. In upstate New York, Glen Highland Farms is first and foremost a border collie rescue, possibly the largest in the world. They take in abandoned and unwanted border collies from all over the country, rehab them when needed, and then adopt them out. They aim to rescue 150-200 dogs each year, and have a massive facility of separate and enclosed play fields and sleep areas for all of the border collies.
Part of the way they raise money to fund the operation is by turning their incredible property into an awesome dog-friendly vacation spot each summer (June 13, 2013 through October 8, 2013). It’s sort of camping style, and they have space for up to 26 guests and their dogs, and you can opt for the dog friendly RV (with shower, bathroom and kitchen), cabin, cottage or a tent. The living quarters may not be the Ritz, but each day you have 175 off-leash acres to roam, including a beautiful winding creek you can follow (and swim in) as well as huge meadows and fields, and even some forest to hike through. It was at one point an Iroquois settlement, and then we hear an equestrian ranch owned by the Forbes family, and now it is a beautiful home for dogs and guests.
The dogs love it – socializing with each other, swimming, running, smelling and playing. If you live in the city, it’s going to be an incredible experience for your dog. Our dog, who lives in an apartment building in Manhattan, could not believe she could run free like this 24/7 with all of these other dogs.
Much to our surprise, she jumped off a 5ft bank on our first day right down into a creek. She could have spent all day patrolling the slow moving waters.
Another fun activity is the agility course structures they have set up where you can see what your dog is capable of jumping over or crawling through. One of the owners is also reportedly a gifted animal communicator – sounds strange but she was booked the entire weekend and has supposedly provided incredible insight to some dog owners trying to understand their dogs.
It’s also a great break from city life for people too. The property is peaceful and beautiful, and when not hiking or playing with your dog, they have a huge common outdoor eating area with aged-wood burning grills where you can get incredible flavor out of your steaks, fish or anything else you want to grill. Guests are generally friendly and it’s an easy place to meet new people, but also large enough that you could keep to yourself throughout your stay. They also have wifi for those who need to get a bit of work done, and there is a small town, golf and the Baseball Hall of Fame within a 15 minute drive.
While there, definitely take a tour of the border collie rescue (it’s fenced off from the rest of the property to allow the dogs a chance to rehabilitate) and see the giant play areas each rescue dog gets to go into each day, and learn about the rescue and rehab process.
Cost (see all details at http://highlandvue.com/ccg_registration.html): Note that the RVs and cabins sell out quickly for a lot of weekends so book asap.
- Tents: $100-$135/night
- Cabins: $125-$175/night
- Cottage: $180-$250/night
- RVs: $220-$350/night
Getting there: You will likely need a car for this one, and it’s about a 3.5 hour drive from NYC. Here is a map (217 Pegg Rd, Morris, NY).